An aside: I think much of the "pre-Draft process," as we euphemistically refer to the months-long slog through Pro Days and the NFL Scouting Combine and the character assassination open discussion of young men's morals, is an extended exercise in bullshit, and in bullshitters bullshitting bullshitters.
Teams want good football players, and will look the other way on some things for the right player; teams want excuses not to take "character risks" or otherwise unusual players, and will go out of their way to find minor flaws that serve as smokescreens for removing a player from a draft board for whatever the "real" reason is.
But he also overheard this killer quote from a scout about both players:
"I don't understand. Stay in school; get bigger, get better. These kids don't realize what it's like out there. They sit here and read these mock drafts and articles with their names high up and it's bullshit. They're lying to these kids. I see their (Roberson and Purifoy's) names in the second round and that's a lie. We have to learn how to communicate with these kids, man. It's a shame some of the advice they're getting. They don't have to leave right away. The best way to be successful is to be as good as you can be before coming out. I'm serious."
Great article here by Andy. Though he focuses mainly on UF players going undrafted, his over-all point can be made for Bama players, and undrafted guys all across College Football. There's a reason players slip in the draft and it's not always about their ability to play football. There are a lot of guys leaving school early who should stay a year because they need to develop their game more. There are also a lot of guys who stay in school but probably should have left early. How high do you think Hubbard gets drafted in 2013 following his 2012 campaign? Probably a lot higher than undrafted, right? Same goes for CyKo.
For most underclassmen, the decision to stay or leave school is a crapshoot, with no way of knowing if the bet will pay off till the draft is over. Somehow the NFL/ NCAA need to allow players apply for the draft, workout in the combine, but return to school if undrafted (even if they did sign with an agent). There's no reason players should have to give up everything over a glorified try out.
So, what is pulling players away from college into the NFL draft unknown? Is the potential for 5th-7th round money worth giving up your final 1-2 years of eligibility? And if that's not what is luring players to the NFL, what is it? Are advisers telling players they are 1st - 2nd round picks but in reality they aren't even close to it? Are they completely ignoring the draft board grades? Who is advising players like AJ, who with his own mouth, seemingly killed his draft stock (though he was probably a 5th round pick all along)
Some people say Michael Sam slipped in the draft cause he was openly gay. However, if you ask most scouts pre-draft, they would have told you he was graded out as a 6th -7th round pick. So him going in the 7th really wasn't a story at all.
The lesson to be learned in all this is found right here— The pre draft process is "an extended exercise in bullshit, and in bullshitters bullshitting bullshitters." And if you aren't keen at sniffing out bullshit you'll likely be left, well, stepping in the shit.
A fourth consecutive year with a record number of underclassmen declaring for the draft didn't sit well with the former NFL coach. From both angles, he didn't see anything to like about it. "The thing that scares me the most about this is there may be 30 or more players this year because there are so many players that don't even have the opportunity to make the team," Saban said Thursday. "It's not only not good for them, it's not really good for the league and the NFL and it's not really good for college football, either. I think we're all losing if we continue to promote guys who aren't high draft picks to go out for the draft early."
Turns out, that number of undrafted underclassmen was even higher than Saban anticipated. Of the 98 underclassmen who declared for the draft, 36 went unselected. Tack on the two players who graduated but left a year of eligibility on the table -- Alabama's Adrian Hubbard and USC's Dion Bailey -- and the total grows to 38.
You'd think the alarming number of players going undrafted will give pause in the future to those underclassman considering the draft but that's probably not going to be the case. In fact, we may actually see the number increase in the coming years. Think about it, 62 underclassmen were drafted this year and how many seniors who stayed that extra year lost their draft spot to one of those underclassman simply because they didn't come out a year early?
So the narrative may change from "Leave now and get your money" to "Leave now before you lose your spot all together and still have no money".
"I've been working on the whole game itself, my footwork, arm slot," he explained. "A lot of people don't realize I wasn't healthy at Alabama. I sacrificed a lot to play for coach (Nick) Saban and that university. I played through a lot of injuries, and we never leaked it because that's just the way it is. "I played through a lot and just always tried to fight through for my teammates and my team and the University of Alabama."
We know of the rib injury from 2012 and didn't he sustain some type of shoulder injury that year as well? What's weird here is out of all the comments made by unnamed sources regarding his fall in the draft, not a single one mentioned any concerns with injuries. We heard the injury scare with CyKo and Hubbard, but not a single word about AJ.....I find that odd given McCarron's own statements above.
Johnny Manziel was the story of the draft during Thursday night's first round, capping off a week of the NFL media falling in love with him. Remember when Jaws was against him before he was for him? And good for Johnny, he's a talented player and a likable one. The narrative shifted a few hours before the Bengals pulled McCarron out of the fifth round, ending his unforeseen slide ... albeit a slide that should have been more apparent when NFL execs were telling media insiders about McCarron's performance in the meeting room.
They must have been too busy headlining those same execs' concerns about Johnny Football partying like the twentysomething college kid he was or tearing down Teddy Bridgewater. In short, the NFL works exactly like Mean Girls.
AJ has been doing himself no favors over the past week. Lots of Bama fans have been annoyed about his comments since the season ended regarding the issues surrounding the team in 2013 but we've given him a pass due to his success in recent years. He won our hearts in 2011 and solidified his place among the all-time Bama greats in 2012 but something about his performance and comments in 2013 left us all with a bad taste in our mouths. And that's unfortunate.
It all kind of started with the Barrett Jones/AJ pushing match at the end of the National Championship game in 2012. We all shrugged it off as two guys competing to the end, but hindsight shows AJ was not the leader on that team, though he may have thought he was...
Then some of his off-season comments over the summer seemed odd. Remember when he was yelling at Henry as they were coming off the field early in season? Yeah, that always seemed weird to me. Also, the way he avoided questions by the media all season long and how he seemed to throw his hands up in frustration when plays didn't work out perfectly.. To me, those actions reeked of entitlement and immaturity.
Add to that all the post season comments he made where he puts the blame on others, instead of taking one for the team, as a good leader should do, and I think the reactions by many fans and media on Saturday, though harsh, were warranted.
Look, I love AJ and I wish him the best in Cinci, but he needs to quit twitter, cancel the TV show, and focus on football.
The 6-foot-3 guard spent his first three seasons at Florida Gulf Coast — even tallying 11 points in Dunk City’s memorable Round of 64 win over San Diego State in the 2013 NCAA Tournament — but transferred to the Division II Silverswords for his senior season. But after an injury-plagued season in which he only played five games, Varidel will complete his final season of college basketball at Alabama as ESPN‘s Jeff Goodman reported on Friday night that Anthony Grant and the Crimson Tide landed the key transfer. According to Goodman, Varidel chose the Crimson Tide over UCLA.
This news broke mid-day Saturday and was largely lost in the midst of the AJ meltdown. I'll let BamaBrave give his thoughts on the pick-up but to me it seems like a calculated risk by Grant. Christophe had an "injury-plagued" 2013 season but if he can return fully healthy in 2014, he may provide the offensive spark this team needs if they plan on making any kind of run at the NCAA tournament. And if he continues to have issues with staying healthy, at least Grant went after and signed one of the bigger names on the transfer "market" this off-season.
This will be the 10th consecutive year and 12th overall in which Alabama has earned a hosting seed and it is the sixth time in the last seven years the Tide have been ranked in the top four. Alabama has been the No. 2 seed in three of the last four years, including the 2012 national championship season. The Tide holds a 67-34 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament.
Friday, May 16
3:30 pm USC Upstate (Visitors) vs. South Alabama (Home)
6:00 pm SIUE (Visitors) vs. Alabama (Home)
Saturday, May 17
1:00 pm Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
3:30 pm Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
6:00 pm Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3
Sunday, May 18
1:00 pm Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5
3:30 pm (if necessary) Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6